Hadou no Hyouteki version differences

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By wyrdwad

Paladin (775)

Аватар пользователя wyrdwad

08-08-2019, 13:59

I received a copy of "Hadou no Hyouteki: Legend of the Melvel" for MSX2 from eBay a while back, but the disks were rather moldy, so I hadn't had a chance to test it out. Recently, though, I learned in more detail how to clean moldy disks, and was able to apply that knowledge to these successfully (as far as I can tell).

I had a little trouble getting the game running at first, though, so I downloaded a DSK image of it from MSX Games World at the following link in order to see how it's SUPPOSED to look when it's working properly:

https://www.msxgamesworld.com/gamecard.php?id=4003

Once I finally did get my own copy working, I immediately noticed quite a few differences between my version and the DSK images on MSX Games World. The ones that immediately stand out include:

  • My version has extra load times at the start, accompanied by the text, "Wait a few minutes."
  • Screen transitions are different between the two versions: the DSK image version uses a wipe effect between scenes, while my version just fades out.
  • There's a text-typing effect accompanied by typewriter sounds when the name of the first chapter and setting are first printed onto the screen in the DSK version. This is not present in my version.
  • The DSK version's intro reads, "199X年 新宿" (Year 199X, Shinjuku). My version's intro simply reads, "1999 東京" (1999 Tokyo).

There may be other differences as well!

Turns out, the reason for these differences is because my version is a newer release, with a sticker on the front of the box that reads, "漢字ROM不要版" ("No-Kanji-ROM-Necessary Edition"). Theoretically, this means that players with an older machine, or a machine from a country other than Japan (meaning, a machine that doesn't have built-in support for displaying kanji characters), can play the game -- which is good! And probably explains the extra load times at the start, since kanji routines likely have to be read into memory.

The loss of some transitional effects, however -- and especially the altered text in the intro -- is a bit harder to explain, as the newer version feels slightly less complete with these changes.

Since there doesn't seem to be any documentation of these changes online anywhere, I figured I'd post about it here with a comparison video, captured directly from my Panasonic FS-A1WX MSX2+ machine.

https://youtu.be/w6fuiqz_GTo

I also took photos of the front and back of my box, if you're interested in seeing what this game looks like physically:

https://imgur.com/a/GrrmgsE

I'm going to attempt to rip the disks shortly, in order to preserve this alternate version of the game for posterity -- I tried to do so with Disk Manager, but I believe the disks are copy-protected (either that or I wasn't as successful as I thought in cleaning them up!), so I'll need to use something else to rip them -- possibly this?

https://www.msx.org/news/en/dmk-creator-47-was-unleashed

Let me know what you guys think, and I'll keep you updated if I discover anything new or successfully manage to rip these disks!

-Tom

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By rderooy

Hero (568)

Аватар пользователя rderooy

08-08-2019, 17:01

I have added the second release to GenMSX. From a preservation perspective, any chance you could get some scans of the manual and disk labels?

By Randam

Paladin (916)

Аватар пользователя Randam

08-08-2019, 17:18

@wyrdwad: that game most definitely has a protection. One copy program even has a specific setting for that game...

By wyrdwad

Paladin (775)

Аватар пользователя wyrdwad

08-08-2019, 18:16

I had a feeling you'd ask that, Rderooy. Wink Sadly, though, I no longer have access to a nice flatbed scanner like I did when I sent you the scans of Robo Crush and La Valeur -- in fact, I'm living in Japan right now, on a rather small salary, so the best I could realistically do would be to take my game into 7-11 and scan it there, which not only might get me some strange looks, but it would also cost me a bit of cash to do!

I can try to get some nice hi-res photos with my phone, at least, if that'll be good enough -- though I will warn you, the manual is pretty barebones, and my copy of it is yellowed and quite moldy. This game was not in particularly great condition when I received it!

And Randam, that's interesting, but also encouraging -- 3 of the 4 disks in my set were moldy, and after cleaning them, I was only able to rip one using Disk Manager without getting any "bad sector" errors. The reason I suspected the bad sectors on the other two were part of copy protection, though, is because they were found when the disks were 98% and 95% finished being ripped, respectively -- and in my experience, bad sectors that close to the end of a disk (or close to the beginning) are much more likely to be intentional than to be actual bad sectors.

Do you have any recommendations on programs I could use to rip these disks on my Windows PC using my USB floppy drive? The link to that DMK Creator program seems to be broken, but it also seems to be something that's run from the MSX itself -- and ripping on the MSX itself is a bit beyond my means, seeing as how I'm using a base 64kb RAM model of the system with a single 2DD floppy drive, and I own no hard disks for it or anything like that. Something akin to Disk Manager, but with support for copy-protected disks, would be ideal, if such a thing even exists...

-Tom

By Louthrax

Prophet (2076)

Аватар пользователя Louthrax

08-08-2019, 20:54

Hi Wyrdwad,

I think there are no modern and standard USB disks interfaces allowing to create disk images that include disk protection...

But, there are some devices like the SuperCardPro or Kyroflux that work perfectly for that purpose (they were both around 100$ when I bought them 3 years ago, you'd best spend your money in a MegaFlashROM and dump to DMK). Anyway, .DMK images could then be created from these .SCP images, in order to use them in openMSX. You'll also need a real floppy disk drive to plug on (these devices work on both 3.5 and 5.25 disks).

Second option would be to dump the disk images without the copy protection (standard 720KB disk image), and then to patch them the same way as the original games were cracked. Probably there are only small differences between the 2 versions of the games...

Third and final option: if you have an old (MS-DOS based) PC with a working disk drive, there are some disk-imaging tools that might work. That could maybe also work with an Amiga or Atari machine (not sure about that and I can't give any support).

EDIT: Ah, wait, there's also the READ-DMK tool created by the openMSX team. Maybe this one could work with a 64KB MSX computer, and a lot of disk swapping (it's basically creating a .DAT file for each track of the disk to copy). You'll then need some tools to convert these .DAT files to a .DMK file on PC if I remember correctly.

By Takamichi

Master (209)

Аватар пользователя Takamichi

09-08-2019, 05:28

@wyrdwad: Glad you've posted here. DMK is still available here.
Did Diskmgr manage to dump the disk anyway ignoring the bad sector? If yes, if you transplant the "bad sectors" of the kanji-rom-necessary ver to the image of the kanji-rom-unnecessary ver, it might become functional.
If you have a 32bit Windows 10 or older, PhyLoCP here sometimes can dump protected disks. To run this MS-DOS app, see here.

By max_iwamoto

Champion (464)

Аватар пользователя max_iwamoto

09-08-2019, 06:01

wyrdwad wrote:

I had a feeling you'd ask that, Rderooy. Wink Sadly, though, I no longer have access to a nice flatbed scanner like I did when I sent you the scans of Robo Crush and La Valeur -- in fact, I'm living in Japan right now, on a rather small salary, so the best I could realistically do would be to take my game into 7-11 and scan it there, which not only might get me some strange looks, but it would also cost me a bit of cash to do!

I can try to get some nice hi-res photos with my phone, at least, if that'll be good enough -- though I will warn you, the manual is pretty barebones, and my copy of it is yellowed and quite moldy. This game was not in particularly great condition when I received it!

And Randam, that's interesting, but also encouraging -- 3 of the 4 disks in my set were moldy, and after cleaning them, I was only able to rip one using Disk Manager without getting any "bad sector" errors. The reason I suspected the bad sectors on the other two were part of copy protection, though, is because they were found when the disks were 98% and 95% finished being ripped, respectively -- and in my experience, bad sectors that close to the end of a disk (or close to the beginning) are much more likely to be intentional than to be actual bad sectors.

Do you have any recommendations on programs I could use to rip these disks on my Windows PC using my USB floppy drive? The link to that DMK Creator program seems to be broken, but it also seems to be something that's run from the MSX itself -- and ripping on the MSX itself is a bit beyond my means, seeing as how I'm using a base 64kb RAM model of the system with a single 2DD floppy drive, and I own no hard disks for it or anything like that. Something akin to Disk Manager, but with support for copy-protected disks, would be ideal, if such a thing even exists...

-Tom

Finding DMK program would be a the best way IMHO. It will help to preserve the original game with protection and can be easily converted to DSK. I will check if I have it here and send it to you.

Max

PS: UPDATE: I have a perfect copy of MELVEL, I dumped it few years ago. Check your mail Wink

PPS: UPDATE 2: MEVEL has no copy protection. Any errors mean issues with the disk.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (775)

Аватар пользователя wyrdwad

09-08-2019, 15:14

Hey Max! The version of the game you sent me is the original release -- the one I have is the "no-kanji-rom version," which differs in quite a few regards, as noted in the original post. So the version I have is still unique and not-yet-dumped, it would seem (and does appear to have copy-protection, maybe? Hopefully?).

Thanks anyway, though!

I'll look into my options for dumping it, and also for scanning the box, disks, and manual in more detail (though again, my manual is kind of gross, so apologies for any stainage and such in the resulting scans!).

-Tom

By wyrdwad

Paladin (775)

Аватар пользователя wyrdwad

09-08-2019, 19:02

So, uh, I just tried to use DMK for the first time, and I'm getting a popup error message that says "CHIPSET NOT SUPPORTED!"

The parameters it auto-detected are 80T double for format, disk -> file for operation (obviously), source and target drive are both A, and the access type is Toshiba FDC.

My system is a Panasonic FS-A1WX MSX2+, with no upgrades -- basically just right out of the box, aside from having the FD belt replaced before I bought it.

...Help? Wink

-Tom

By sdsnatcher73

Champion (499)

Аватар пользователя sdsnatcher73

09-08-2019, 19:40

wyrdwad wrote:

So, uh, I just tried to use DMK for the first time, and I'm getting a popup error message that says "CHIPSET NOT SUPPORTED!"

The parameters it auto-detected are 80T double for format, disk -> file for operation (obviously), source and target drive are both A, and the access type is Toshiba FDC.

My system is a Panasonic FS-A1WX MSX2+, with no upgrades -- basically just right out of the box, aside from having the FD belt replaced before I bought it.

...Help? Wink

-Tom

Not behind my MSX now but IIRC this could be because the default source drive is A: (which if you booted from Nextor may be your hard disk/SD card. So once you set source to B: or C: (depending on the Nextor version) and target to file on A: it should work.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (775)

Аватар пользователя wyrdwad

09-08-2019, 19:54

I... don't have a Nextor. Like I said, my MSX2+ is basically just right out of the box. All I have to work with is a single floppy disk drive. And it defaults to drive letter A.

I do own a Megaflashrom, but it's the old-school kind that has no SD card slot -- you have to load data onto it from a floppy disk. And I'm not using it right now for this, because I have no idea if I even can. I have literally NEVER done anything like this before. Never used DMK, never used anything but Disk Manager on my Windows PC to rip disks, and don't even use the Megaflashrom THAT much -- I load games onto it when I can't get them working via Loadrom or Odo, but that's it.

So yeah. Please explain things to me FROM THE BEGINNING, if you would. And don't expect me to know about or have any of the common MSX community amenities -- most likely, I do not!

(Thanks for your help nonetheless, though!)

-Tom

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